A report for the Sutton Trust has suggested that the Government’s scheme to make free nursery places available for disadvantaged two-year-olds should be delayed until good quality provision can be guaranteed. The government pledged to provide 130,000 free part-time nursery places to England’s most disadvantaged two-year-olds from September 2013. However, the study concluded that, while the programme could help narrow the achievement gap between rich and poor, it argued that there is not enough good quality childcare places available for the 92,000 toddlers already in free places to guarantee good quality childcare.
Early Years Education Minister Liz Truss responded to the report that 90% of places on the scheme were in good or outstanding settings. The Minister also said the government was taking steps to raise quality, such as working with Ofsted to improve and strengthen the inspection regime, reforming early years qualifications and introducing early years teachers.